Now, I'm not the sensitive type- I call it like it is. Most of the time, people lie through their teeth at these things- may be due to guilt; maybe out of respect for the dead- but they say nice things just so they don't have to say the truth about the bastards they are laying to rest. Yet, every once in a while, you get to see the real deal, someone worth remembering, and when you do, you start to wonder how you will be remembered when you are gone. Will people say such warm, loving and inspiring things about you? Are you the kind of person that will be deserving of such praise? Who knows? All I know is I'm doing my best, but I didn't have the best role model to get me there.
Yes, my father was raised in a different time, but sometimes I think he was also raised on a different planet, or plane. Maybe he took the story of Peter Pan to heart a little too much, and never grew up. May be he was just too spoiled by his own parents, my grandparents, and believed his own hype, that he could do no wrong; an assertion he still holds till this day. But I guess it's better to be right all the time than to be surrounded by your family and friends.
I don't want to belabor the point. My father and I do not speak. He is not welcome in my home. He is not encouraged to attempt to make contact with me, my wife, or my daughter, and not because he is abusive, or dangerous, but because he is toxic. His mind is so wrapped up in what he deserves that he is incapable of unconditional love. He is so wrapped up in how others have done him wrong that he cannot see how he has wronged others. And I do not want that kind of person around my daughter.
As the song goes, "You got to learn to lose to know how to win," (Dream On, Aerosmith, 1973) and that's the only true lesson I think my father has ever taught me. And it is because he was such a lackluster dad that I make it my mission every day to do better by my little girl. Because, one day my father's going to die, and someone's going to ask me to say something kind on his behalf and I'm going to be at a loss for words to say anything other than "without him, I wouldn't exist"- and how sad is that? I will say, "Without him, I wouldn't be the man I am today," but that's not saying anything positive. But I do not mourn men I do not know. And sadly, that is one funeral that I will be unable to attend.
- Fodder 4 Fathers